244239 Influence of gender attitudes on spousal communication and attitudes toward family planning decision-making

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Geeta Nanda, DrPH , Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC
Sidney Ruth Schuler, PhD , FHI 360, Washington, DC
Jane Alaii, PhD , C-Change, Academy for Educational Development, Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
Elisabeth Ann Rottach, MA , Global Health Population & Nutrition, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC
It has been posited that inequitable gender norms can impede contraceptive use by putting constraints on spousal communication and family planning (FP) decision-making. This study contributes to the evidence base on the influence of gender attitudes on FP discussion and attitudes toward decision-making, drawing on data from an operations research project in Tanzania that tests the effectiveness of a gender norms radio intervention in support of a community-based FP program. A baseline household survey was conducted in 2009 with 200 couples of reproductive age to explore FP use and gender attitudes as measured by the Gender Equitable Men (GEM) Scale. Logistic regression analyses were carried out separately for husbands and wives. The two dependent variables were spousal communication and attitudes toward FP decision-making; the main independent variable was the individual's GEM Scale score; and the control variables were age, education, number of living children, and geographic region. Preliminary findings reveal that husbands and wives had similar scores on the GEM Scale, but the GEM score was not significantly associated with FP spousal communication, either as reported by the husband or wife. However, the higher the husband's GEM score (indicating more gender equitable attitudes), the more likely it was that the husband reported that deciding how many children to have and when to have them should be a joint decision. Although husbands and wives had similar GEM scores, only husbands' scores were significantly associated with attitudes toward FP decision-making.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To describe gender attitudes in relation to spousal communication and attitudes toward FP decision-making.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I hold a DrPH and have conducted prior research on this topic. I conducted the data analysis to be presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.